Author: Tracy

Guest Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan

Posted July 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie JordanReviewer: Tracy
The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files #3
Also in this series: While the Duke Was Sleeping
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .

The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.

A duke wasn’t in hers . . .

Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.

The road to ruin . . .

Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.

Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, has gotten out of London and he’s more or less wandering the countryside trying to escape his woes. (I’m assuming his woes occurred in previous books but I didn’t read the previous books so I’m not sure.) He comes upon a village green one day and sees that there is an auction – of a woman!  He’s disgusted by the proceedings and when it looks like a disgusting man might get the girl, he bids a ridiculous amount and wins her for himself.  He doesn’t realize that this is a bride auction.  By buying her he is now her husband.  Of course he denies that with everything he is and sets off with the girl to his estate in the Highlands.  He says he’ll make her his housekeeper and pay her well.

Alyse’s dad died when she was just 14 years old – seven years ago.  He made an arrangement with a man with a ton of children for Alyse to marry him and take care of his kids in exchange for taking care of Alyse.  While she’s technically been his wife for years she’s really been a servant, raising his kids and taking care of his house.  The bride auction is a way to “divorce” her current husband and marry her long-time friend, Yardley.  Only when they arrive at the auction they find that Yardley high-tailed it out of town first thing that morning.  Alyse is devastated and tries to stop the auction but her husband has his eye on another woman so she’s out of luck.  When this man, Marcus, buys her she’s not sure what will happen but she figures she’ll take him up on his offer of a living as a housekeeper, save money and then become an independent woman.

As Alyse and Marcus travel they talk and find out more about each other, although Alyse doesn’t know he’s a duke.  Despite Marcus’s determination to stay away from Alyse he finds that he can’t manage it.  He’s desperately attracted to her.  Of course this causes him to be hot and cold with her and that’s frustrating for both of them.

This was a good story.  I liked so much of it and the whole premise grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.  I had no idea when I started reading that wife selling was actually a thing back in the late 17th century and continued on until the 19th century.  I understand only the extremely wealthy could get an actual divorce, but I had no idea this was a way of going about getting rid of your wife.  Yikes.  From what I read this was actually a mutual agreement between husband and wife, and the wife had a final say in who purchased her (it was also illegal).  In this book, she didn’t have a choice so therein lies our story.

Marcus was a bit of an ass at times but I liked him anyway.  Alyse was pretty fierce for being sold like chattel but she held her own and I liked her inner strength.  There was a time when a clan interfered in the story and I thought that Alyse acted ridiculously but there you have it.

I thought the story had some occasions where it dragged but overall I enjoyed the story and recommend it.

Rating: 3.5/4 out of 5

The Rogue Files

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Knuckle Down by Chantal Fernando

Posted July 12, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Knuckle Down by Chantal FernandoReviewer: Tracy
Knuckle Down (The Cursed Ravens MC #2) by Chantal Fernando
Series: The Cursed Ravens MC #2
Also in this series: Ace of Hearts
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: July 9, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 285
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Goodreads
three-stars

As a single father of two girls and the sergeant at arms for the Cursed Ravens Motorcycle Club, Jack “Knuckles” Chester doesn’t have much free time. And having earned his road name from his reputation as a fighter, Knuckles isn’t one to back away from a challenge.

But what he'll never admit out loud is that his two daughters have changed him irrevocably, softened him even. And these two girls are the only women who will ever hold his heart forever. That is, until he meets the cousin of another biker’s old lady.

Celina is nothing like the women Knuckles used to date. She’s a journalist for the local newspaper, dresses well, and basically just has her life together. And the last thing she wants is to be involved with a Cursed Raven. But when the ripped, badass biker worms his way into her heart, she has trouble remembering all the reasons they would never work.

But when a scandal at her newspaper breaks the thin trust she has with Knuckles, will she walk away for good? Or will Knuckles fight to keep Celina in his life?

Celina is a journalist and loves her job.  She loves being independent and making her way in the world.  She’s not really open to a relationship as her last one did a number on her.  When she heads to the Cursed Ravens MC clubhouse for her cousin Erin’s birthday party the last thing she expects to happen is to fall for one of its members.

Knuckles is the Sergeant-at-Arms for the Cursed Ravens MC.  He’s also a father of two daughters and does his work for the Ravens around his kids.  He loves his MC but he also loves his girls and will do anything for them.  He wasn’t planning on meeting anyone and hadn’t been attracted to a woman in a long time but when he sees Celina in the clubhouse he’s immediately smitten.

Celina has a bit too much to drink at the party so Knuckles ends up driving her home and then goes the next day to check on her. She keeps telling him that she’s not interested in dating him but he is persistent and their friendship soon turns into a relationship.

This was a fun story.  I really liked Knuckles a lot as he was just a good guy.  The author really doesn’t get into anything that the MC is criminally into.  The stories are definitely more relationship driven and the men just happen to be in an MC.  In this story there was one incident that was something I could see happening at an MC but other than that we don’t get much info about anything the MC does.

I’m not normally a fan of romances where the heroine is a journalist (actually I don’t like it when the hero is either but that so rarely occurs) but since I read book one in this series I thought I’d give it a shot.  The conflict had to do with her work (as expected) and I could see it coming for miles down the road.  Fortunately, that was worked out rather quickly.  Celina and Knuckles were good together once they each let their guards down.  Despite Knuckles chasing Celina he still held himself back a bit until later in the book.

The Cursed Ravens MC novels are pretty short and fluffy, but the author gives me enough about the characters that I end up wanting to see what the next guy is up to.  Point in her favor. 🙂

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Cursed Ravens MC

three-stars


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Guest Review: #Moonstruck by Sariah Wilson

Posted July 10, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: #Moonstruck by Sariah WilsonReviewer: Tracy
#Moonstruck by Sariah Wilson
Series: #Lovestruck #2
Also in this series: #Starstruck
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Over one million “likes”—but only one of them matters.

After pop star Ryan De Luna praises Maisy Harrison’s YouTube cover of his classic hit, he offers Maisy and her fledgling band the opportunity of a lifetime: to be his opening act.

Music may be Maisy’s life, but she has one ground rule: never date a musician. That goes double for a heartbreaker like Ryan. If only she didn’t feel so vulnerable to his larger-than-life charm. And maybe now more than ever, when he asks for her help to shake off his playboy image. How can she resist playing the part of his fake girlfriend for the duration of the tour?

Ryan’s never met anyone like Maisy. She sees past all the star-studded fame and treats him like any other guy. And the more time they spend together, the more he finds himself falling for her. Now he’d like to make their imaginary fling an IRL thing. But can he convince her to take a chance and trust him with her heart?

Maisy Harrison used to be a crazy Ryan De Luna fan…when she was 14.  Now that she’s in her 20’s?  Not so much.  That doesn’t stop her from going to one of his concerts with her best friend because that BFF is crazy about Ryan.  When she meets Ryan back stage, Maisy isn’t impressed and even tells him off a bit when he gets cocky.  The next day she realizes that she can’t find her phone so she calls it via her brother’s phone.  Finally someone answers her texts and she starts to have a conversation with Ryan’s cousin, Diego, who was the one who had taken a picture using the phone the previous night.  They have great conversations and when she tells him where her band (the one she has with her three brothers) is playing a gig, he says he’ll be there.  Maisy’s shocked when she finds out that it wasn’t Diego she was texting, but Ryan.  Not only that, Ryan liked her band’s sound so well he then asks them to be his opening act on his current tour.

Maisy and her brothers are thrilled that they are getting notice on the tour, but touring with Ryan is hell on Maisy.  She realizes that Ryan’s not the arrogant ass she thought him to be, and she’s crazy attracted to him.  She doesn’t want to start anything with him that might jeopardize her band’s standing on the tour.  Ryan makes it hard to stay away from him, however, because he actually pays Maisy to be his fake girlfriend so that he can look better in his record producer’s eyes.  When Ryan wants to make their fake relationship real, Maisy is so tempted but her number one rule is: no dating musicians.

This was a pretty cute book.  I liked the first book in this series so when I saw this one was coming out I jumped on it.  I’m glad I did, as it was a fun book to read.

Maisy’s dad was a musician and a huge player and liked to get women pregnant…constantly.  He hurt Maisy’s mom horribly which caused lasting damage to the family.  Maisy and her brothers basically grew up without a father and while they each inherited musical ability from him, they wanted nothing else to do with the man once they were adults.  Because of how her father was with women and children Maisy decided that dating musicians was out of the question.  Until she got to know Ryan she never had a problem sticking to that rule.  Once she became close with Ryan it was almost impossible not to see him for the wonderful guy he was.

Ryan was a pretty cool guy.  Yeah, he’d been an ass in younger years but he’d grown up and wanted different things in life than he’d wanted previously.  Unfortunately, the record producers just saw him as a pop singer and when he wanted to possibly change his music up, they didn’t agree.  I think they saw him as immature and not able to make his own decisions despite the fact that I think he was 27 years old.  Crazy.  Maisy helped him in other ways besides being his fake girlfriend and the pair grew throughout the story both individually and in their relationship.

The conflict in the story was a bit too drawn out for my liking.  I understood it but thought that it could have been resolved more quickly than it was.  Despite that issue liked the story overall.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

#Lovestruck

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: How to Keep a Secret by Sarah Morgan

Posted July 9, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: How to Keep a Secret by Sarah MorganReviewer: Tracy
How to Keep a Secret by Sarah Morgan
Published by Hqn
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 384
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four-stars

When three generations of women are brought together by crisis, they learn over the course of one hot summer the power of family to support, nourish and surpriseLauren has the perfect life...if she ignores the fact it's a fragile house of cards, and that her daughter Mack has just had a teenage personality transplant.Jenna is desperate to start a family with her husband, but it's... Just. Not. Happening. Her heart is breaking, but she's determined to keep her trademark smile on her face.Nancy knows she hasn't been the best mother, but how can she ever tell Lauren and Jenna the reason why?Then life changes in an instant, and Lauren, Mack, Jenna and Nancy are thrown together for a summer on Martha's Vineyard. Somehow, these very different women must relearn how to be a family. And while unraveling their secrets might be their biggest challege, the rewards could be infinite...Heartwarming and fresh, Sarah Morgan's brilliant new novel is a witty and deeply uplifting look at the power of a family of women.

In this story we have two sisters, Lauren and Jenna, who are incredibly close.  Lauren is married and has a 16-year-old daughter by the name of Mack.  They are wealthy and live in London.  Jenna is a school teacher, is married, and lives in Martha’s Vineyard where she and her sister grew up.  She longs to be a mother but even as much as her and her husband have tried, they’ve not gotten pregnant.  Neither girl was ever close with their mother, Nancy, but always had a great time with their now deceased father.

Tragedy strikes Lauren and her husband Ed dies.  Due to unforeseen and shocking circumstances Lauren and Mack end up moving back to Martha’s Vineyard to live with Nancy.  Lauren is devastated by everything going on in her life – especially the fact that Mack has discovered that the man she thought was her dad…wasn’t.  The man who actually is her father is still living in Martha’s Vineyard and wants to be part of Mack’s life.  Lauren’s not sure how to handle this as Scott, the dad, was never one for sticking to one place very long.  Lauren doesn’t want Mack to get attached to Scott and then have him leave.

Lauren, despite her grief, finds that she’s still incredibly attracted to Scott. She was so in love with him back when she was 18 years old.  When she got pregnant she understood the reasons he couldn’t step up and that’s why she married Ed.  Ed had his own emotional roller coaster to deal with and that’s what brought them together.  They weren’t actually in love but they definitely loved each other.

With Lauren back on the island and living with her mother there are a lot of information that get brought out in the open.  Secrets every character kept get outed and the characters in the book have to learn how to live with the new normal.

While this book was definitely stronger in the Women’s Fiction arena, it did have a small romance in it as well.  Even if it hadn’t would have liked this book.  Morgan brought to life some interesting characters that I couldn’t get enough of.  I felt their pain, loneliness, grief, happiness – you name it, I felt it.  I got so into the lives of these women and what they were individually going through.  I loved that they were there for each other and worked through their many issues.

I can’t tell you too much about what goes on the book because that’s part of the beauty of it, watching it all unfold page by page. What I can tell you is that I definitely recommend this book as I thought it was pretty darned great.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando

Posted July 6, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ace of Hearts by Chantal FernandoReviewer: Tracy
Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando
Series: The Cursed Ravens MC #1
Also in this series: Knuckle Down (The Cursed Ravens MC #2)
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: June 11, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 287
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Erin Dawson had the perfect life growing up in a perfect home with a perfect family. Her parents gave her and her sister everything a child could want. But after learning that the man she’s called “dad” her whole life isn’t actually her biological father, Erin is determined to find the man who is.

Armed with her original birth certificate, she finds her father, but begins questioning if her mom had been right all along to keep this information buried. It turns out he is the president of a motorcycle club, which could not be further from the life Erin leads. But, she’s determined to get to know the man who she gets her striking blue eyes from. Despite getting what she wants and finding her biological father, it’s the slightly older, much rougher but incredibly sexy biker Ace that catches Erin’s eye.

As the new “princess” of the Cursed Ravens, Erin is learning a whole new world, but her father has made it clear she is off limits. Will Ace follow his President’s orders or will he put his heart ahead of his duty?

Erin lived her whole life thinking that the man she called “dad” was indeed her father.  When she finds a birth certificate that says otherwise, she’s upset and wants to know what’s going on.  Her mother was dating a man who was in an MC and when she found out she was pregnant she left him and never told him about the baby.  The mom even went as far as faking a birth certificate when she got married so that Erin wouldn’t know that her step-dad wasn’t her father.

Erin’s mother tells her where to find her father and Erin heads there to confront him.  She walks into the clubhouse with no problem and demands to see Gage Parker. When he finds out that he has a daughter that he never knew about he’s understandably upset but welcomes Erin with open arms.  He tells all the MC members that she’s off limits to them but there’s one man that Erin can’t keep away from, and he seems to be ignoring his president’s wishes as well.

Ace isn’t prepared for Erin.  He’s a lady’s man and has women around him all the time.  When he sees Erin he’s pulled to her and can’t keep from wanting to be around her constantly.  He’d love to keep her with him for good, but Erin has her life planned out and her college isn’t anywhere near the MC club. Erin loves being with the MC however and is surprised at how comfortable she feels around these men except when someone starts trying to hurt her.  That hurts her physically, but when she finds out that her father is hiding some information from her she realizes that she doesn’t know the MC at all and she’s not sure she wants to.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this one up.  I like MC romances and this one was good.  There were some things I thought were strange about the MC – their clubhouse was a house and Erin just walked right up to it with no one questioning her at all.  IDK, maybe because she was a woman?  It just found that strange.  I also found it odd that Ace was ignoring his presidents warning to stay away from his daughter but that’s explained later in the book.  I did find the attempts on her life a bit….much, but it worked in the end. The MC didn’t seem too fierce I’m sure not all of them are the same.

Ace and Erin were good together.  I thought they really cute together despite the fact that one was an MC member.  Ace was a sucker for Erin from almost minute one and I loved that he was so good to her.

The other men of the MC were definitely interesting and I look forward to reading more about them in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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